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Oh, Canada! Fleshtones are still Bigger and Better than we'll ever be

fleshtones miriam daveThe Fleshtones joined by Miriam Linna (and Dave Champion at right of stage) . Photo: LePetitRusse

The “Wheel of Talent” was spinning in northern Ontario, Canada, baby. Oh yeah!

I very rarely open the newsletters and catalogs I get from various labels and bands but for some reason I was drawn to this month’s from Norton Records.

What do I see but that the mighty Fleshtones are playing two hours from home. And Sudbury hometown girl, Miriam Linna (head honcho at Norton Records, ex-Cramps drummer and solo artist in her own right), was going to be joining them. On stage. So, yeah, I had to go.

How Did I Find Myself Here? – Dream Syndicate (Epitath/ANTI)

howdidifindThis is a review of an album by a band regarded as leaders of The Paisley Underground movement of the 1980s, written by someone who never bought into that scene. 

Genres are a device to apply easily understood descriptors so other people know what you’re talking about. They’re hard to avoid if you want to communicate meaningfully but all the same, they’re annoying because they infer boundaries. Deal with it. 

“How Did I Find Myself Here?” is a rock and roll record. It gets you to a place and  takes a path less obvious than most bands (reluctantly) wearing a label. 

Warm reception as The On and Ons welcome us aboard

look up thereThe On and Ons Glenn Morris and Jon Roberts with guest guitarist Murray Cook . Shona Ross photo

At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, this was a night of three contrasting but not dissimilar bands when The Smart Folk, Loose Pills and The On and Ons weaved their guitar pop web over Marrickville Bowling Club. It was also the album launch for The On and Ons' wonderful CD "Welcome Aboard".

These sorts of night are infrequent in Sydney these days. Ones where the bands on the bill complement each other and the venue doesn't turn people off, so they turn out in good numbers.

You’re here to read a live music review? Hang in there. There's a bit of preaching to go through, first...

Ain't that cool? Another Aints show, supports announced

The Aints Play The Saints (’73-78) national tour in November led by Ed Kuepper and an all-star band is selling out all over so new shows have been announced.

The gig at Melbourne's Caravan Music Club has joined Sydney’'s The Factory Theatre as a pre-tour sell-out.  Limited tickets remain for the other Melbourne show (November 18 at the Corner Hotel) and all other shows in Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Due to demand, Sunday, November 26 has been set aside for a performance at Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast and tickets are on sale via aussieworld.com

They Just Want Their Fun: Why Exploding White Mice will walk again

mice album cover

Exploding White Mice burst on to the Australian musical landscape in 1983. They formed in Adelaide = the so-called City of Churches – and toured Australia constantly, releasing their “A Nest Of Vipers” EP in 1985.

Originally Paul Gilchrist on vocals, Andy MacQueen on bass, Gerry Barrett on guitar, Craig Rodda on drums and Giles Barrow on rhythm guitar, they made an immediate mark with their mix of Radio Birdman-meets-the-Ramones punk rock.

Love is a Gamble - Steve Wernick Band (RPM Records) & Cold Mother Night - Tom Redwood (Walking Bird Records)

love is a gambleBoth discs get five bottles. That’s really all you need to know. Go get them, here’s the contact details for Steve Wernick and Tom Redwood

Good. Reviews completed. Payment in the usual manner, please Barman, used notes in a brown paper bag round the back of the cistern, third cubicle on the left, usual pub.

No? Bugger, you readers are a demanding lot.

Oh, all right then. Both albumss here deal with love and loss, despair and joy, isolation and continuity. There are a few similarities with the music, although really… both travel in different directions. Let’s begin with … 

Leave Home Deluxe Edition – Ramones (Rhino)

Ramones LeaveHome DeluxeEditionContest the claim if you like, but there isn’t a better Ramones album than “Leave Home”, their second long-player.

Yes, the debut was retrospectively ground-breaking and a beacon for rock and roll’s shift back-to-basics, but “Leave Home” surely should have been the point where “punk” (at least as America knew it) crossed the line, converting from Cult Curiosity to Mainstream Soundtrack.

High-tensile guitars, off-colour humour, melodies and energy live large within its groove. Bubblegum, doo-wop, pop and rock bundled into the perfect musical package, married to an image of teen rebellion, leather jackets and shades. What the fuck is there not to love?

This is the Modern World

young modern the govHo to The Gov in Adelaide once more, for Vic of Mr V Music and the organiser of tonight’s barney headlined by Young Modern (pictured right), has kindly placed my name on the door.

As you may know, The Gov is opposite a vile concrete pissoir with the flashing lights known as the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, which also reminds me of a huge birthday cake concealing a rather unpleasant surprise for the party-goers. 

Which is one more reason why going to the Gov is so enjoyable, because it is a haven of hospitality, pubby goodness, good cheer and competent and friendly staff.

There have been times when I’ve been at the Gov and seriously considered not crossing the road to see whatever humungous stars await inside the concrete barn, but simply to stay in the cosiness and get cosily and happily fuddled instead.

Rarebits - Fast Cars (Methodmusic)

rarebitsIt's been mentioned here before that Fast Cars are a 1980s Sydney mod band, revolving around the creative core of Di Levi (vocals, guitar) and Fabian Byrne (guitar), that reformed a couple of years ago to make more music. This EP is their second since re-convening and was compiled for the “15th Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival” in Wales earlier this month.

Mod is a label that suggests Union Jacks, sharp clothes, Vespa scooters and The Who, but Fast Cars aren’t constricted by the genre’s straight jacket. “Rarebits” comprises four old tracks and two new ones and takes the band deep into psychedelic pop territory.

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